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LESLIE WEST The Great Fatsby/Leslie West Band Voiceprint (2009)

Leslie West

Larger than life West is a blues/rock guitarist / vocalist of some repute, best known for fronting Mountain. After playing with the Rascals in the 60s, Mountain had already formed and disbanded twice before this 1975 solo album, The Great Fatsby, his second. West had already played sessions with The Who and others too.

Here, there are a large number of guests, including Mountain drummer Corky Laing, Mick Jagger (on guitar) and Spooky Tooth's Gary Wright.

There is a muddy feel to the American blues rock, but the mix of originals and covers went down well. 'House Of The Rising Sun', 'Honky Tonk Woman' and Free's 'Little Bit Of Love' sound good and stand up to 'ESP' and the soulful 'I'm Gonna Love You Though The Night'.

It is a good album with some excellent guitar work, but the production does come across as both sludgy and hollow. That said, a welcome addition to any collection. ***

The following year's Leslie West Band was another strong outing, with stronger production too. The band had been put together to promote the previous album on tour, and gelled well here. Worth noting that additional guitarist Mick Jones would later go on to play with Foreigner. ***½

Opener 'Money' has a Smokestack Lightning feel, and there decent covers of 'Dear Prudence' and 'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place'.

Two good albums well worth exploring, but the packaging is a little light.

Review by Joe Geesin

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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